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2011 Offseason Outlook - Defensive Backs

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With the Pats season over and free agency (hopefully) and the draft still a ways away, I figured this would be a good time to look back - and look forward - with some discussion at each position on the team.

    Cornerback
    Devin McCourty
    Leigh Bodden (injured reserve)
    Kyle Arrington (RFA)
    Jonathan Wilhite (injured reserve)
    Darius Butler
    Tony Carter
    Thad Turner (practice squad)

    Safety
    Brandon Meriweather
    Patrick Chung
    James Sanders
    Brandon McGowan (injured reserve; UFA)
    Jarrod Page (UFA)
    Sergio Brown
    Josh Barrett (injured reserve)
    Bret Lockett (injured reserve; ERFA)
     
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It Is What It Is -- Patriots by Position: Defensive backs | Christopher Price

     
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm fine with this analysis.

    I would note that this presumes that Page will be re-signed. Obviously, this signing is important if Page is considered good enough to fight for a starting role in 2011.

    Chris ignores the need to develop a safety for 2012. Perhaps, as with Page, he simply repsumes the extension of Sanders, or his re-signing in 2012.

    BTW, for all the dissing of Butler and Wilhite, they are our #4 and #5 corners (and backup nickel). We can always use an upgrade, but they are probably as good as any at those positions.
     
  4. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I think having so many draft picks and success without Bodden last year gives us options. If a CB falls to us in the first 33 I can see BB grabbing him and cutting Bodden's salary. Sure we can say they have bigger holes to fill but BB likes to fool us. Also if there are any truths to the trade rumors for Meriweather or Butler those options should be explored. If this is a weak draft trading may be more effective. As far as the safeties we have both Page and Barrett waiting for their chances. BB likes Barrett and I think he will be the equivalent of a draft pick this year. The biggest improvement in the DBs could be a pass rush---we can dream cant we?
     
  5. Potstickas

    Potstickas On the Roster

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    in this pass happy league, you can always upgrade the secondary. they normally takes 2-3 years to develop and mature. with that said, high ceiling player who dropped to us only, i wouldn't bother with someone who is middle of the road.
     
  6. RHbT76

    RHbT76 Practice Squad Player

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    I really think we should make a run at Mr. Bailey and sign for a few years. He'd make our secondary better immediately and add some depth in case we lose some one to injury again like we did with Bodden this year.
     
  7. part-timer

    part-timer On the Game Day Roster

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    Stand pat.
     
  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden Could Give Patriots NFL's Best Cornerback Duo in 2011 - New England Patriots - NESN.com - Jeff Howe

     
  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Brandon Meriweather's 2010 Decline May Lead to One-Way Ticket Out of Foxboro for Pro-Bowl Safety - New England Patriots - NESN.com - Jeff Howe

     
  10. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

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    Meriweather lost a lot of playing time, which amounted to being on the field four of every five defensive snaps.

    Okay.
     
  11. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #91 Jersey

    Very interesting articles -

    Boddin not only brings to the Pats a very solid, steady CB, he also brings some badly needed size to the position. Butler's problems as I see it, come when he has to cover much bigger, more physical WRs. I think he'd be a perfect guy to cover the quick smaller slot guys that are now coming into vogue because of the Pats success with smaller WRs, I still think Butler has a chance to become a solid contributor if the Pats will keep him matched up on smaller receivers, OR, he elevates his game so he can take on the bigger guys that are so prevalent in the league these days (except of course on the Pats ;) )

    The 3rd CB is key for the D these days. He will usually get more snaps than the "starting" ILB, just because the game has changed.

    The S position is over loaded right now, but that's not a bad thing. While I acknowledge Merriweather's geometric problems, I don't think the Pats will be trading him this season. He is the kind of guy that allows them to be very flexible in the DBfield. He and Chung's ability to occasionally cover guys like CBs allows BB to be much more creative with his coverages. There WILL be some changes at the position, but I don't think it will be Merriweather....or Sanders. But it will be interesting to see how it all plays out, especially when you have McGowan et al coming off IR. We have literally a ton of S's on the roster, and that BEFORE the draft and FA
     
  12. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

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    Indeed. Not resigning Meriweather once his contract expires is one thing, if that's the direction the team wants to move. But another self-inflicted wound this offseason is another matter entirely.
     
  13. bucky

    bucky 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    My personal feelings on the subject:

    Merriweather misses too many tackles and this year he spent more time head hunting than ball hawking. With 1 year left on his contract, I'd get whatever I can for BM and move on. I'd prefer a ball hawk - like Rahim Moore from UCLA - to complement Chung and Sanders (who is still just average at best). Paige and McGowan are pretty much the same player. Resign one of them as the 4th safety and ST player.

    At CB, I wouldn't mind a nickel being brought in to challenge (and hopefully replace) Wilhite. Other than that, I like our corners.
     
  14. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

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    Wilhite is fine as the nickel. Not exactly an area of high priority.
     
  15. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

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    What's the market these days for a one-year rental safety that no one wants?
     
  16. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    Am I overestimating the return of Bodden or will this be as huge as I think, if he returns to 2009 form? Even though Arrington played admirably, having Bodden's cover skills as well as the physical presense across from Mccourty should make life tough on opposing WR's. I think Butler has a chance to flourish as a nickel too with continued improvement.

    I think we're set at DB for this year. Maybe a lower developmental pick in anticipation of losing Merri to FA. Nothing higher than a 4th or 5th rounder spent here IMO
     
  17. bucky

    bucky 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    If he's "fine" at nickel, then TBC is "fine" at OLB, and Connoly is "very good" at Guard.
     
  18. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

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    Not really.

    Wilhite was playing well at the nickel this season before his injury. People are still hung up on him sucking as a starter, but as I said he's adequate as a 3-4-5 CB.
     
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have no problem with Arrington, Butler and Wilhite battling it out for reps as our backup defensive backs. The secondary would figure to be a major upgrade in 2011 with Bodden back and Wilhite healthy/
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  20. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    I'd like the Pats to look at a true FS in the draft as a successor to Meriweather and probably a nickelback in the middle rounds somewhere.

    One idea I haven't heard talked about much is signing Champ Bailey from free agency to be a Free Safety for us.
    Our coverage ability would improve by leaps and bounds.
    I think Bailey has the ability to make the Lott/Woodson transition and he has the experience, talent, and quicks to be an impact player for us right away.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
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